Online privacy is one of the biggest concerns of our generation. As the Internet advances, so do the antics of cyber criminals causing us to be more concerned about our privacy and security online.
But thanks to tools like VPN (Virtual Private Networks), surfing the net is a lot safer. If you haven’t used a VPN tool before, you should; but before you download one or sign up for a subscription, here is some of the stuff you should know about a VPN firsthand.
In this article:
VPN in a Nutshell
VPN is a technology of encrypting Internet connection from one device or network to another. There are many ways to get a VPN (or should I say, use a VPN service).
The most common ones are VPN service providers, which offer downloadable apps that allow you to connect to the Internet anonymously.
Some VPN tools are free to use, with limited capabilities; many others provide paid options with a limited free trial or money-back guarantee. And, of course, these paid options come with more features, better security, and other perks.
To learn more about what VPN is and what it does, check out this page.
What Does a VPN do?
By now you know that by connecting through a VPN, your actual IP is hidden from the public. But this is not all a VPN does. Following are some of the main functions of a VPN.
Keeping browsing private
A VPN shields your Internet browsing and searching history from ISPs (Internet Service Providers). They are left only to see the trail of encrypted data traveling to the VPN server.
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Hide your location
Your IP address reveals your location. By connecting to a VPN, your location is masked, and your new location is the location of the VPN server you are connected to.
Aside from keeping your real IP hidden for privacy and security purposes, faking your actual location has many other perks. For instance, you are able to access regional-locked movie content in Hulu, Netflix and Disney+.
General Features of VPN
Most VPN providers have networks of servers that span across many different countries. This provides great flexibility whether you want to connect to a server nearer to your location or you want to an IP of a specific country.
VPN protocols determine how data are passed through a connection. Some prioritize data encryption over speed, while some do the other way around.
No Logs Policy
Image: VPN Protocols Explained, via top10vpn.com
VPN providers that uphold a ‘No log policy’ that do not collect or log down any information transmitted through their network. This means none of your personal details are saved.
This may include:
- Websites you visited.
- Your browsing habits (time, duration, etc).
- Apps you downloaded.
- Things you searched for.
DNS Leak detection and prevention
A DNS leak happens when the VPN fails to protect your device’s DNS queries. And when this happens, your Internet activities will be exposed.
A good VPN provider usually takes care of that with their DNS Leak Detection and Prevention feature.
However, some configurations might be required, depending on the provider.
Multiple device connectivity
Unlike most licensed software and apps, most VPN apps allow you to connect to multiple devices simultaneously. That means all your devices can be connected to the Internet and protected.
Frequency Asked Questions:
Most of the VPN providers out there offer similar services. You will need to shop around and compare their features and prices to get one that fits you.
You don’t need to know the technicality of a VPN to protect yourself on the Internet; pick a good VPN provider that suits you in terms of budget and features offered.
If you do not have VPN yet and are looking to get one, I hope the information above is helpful in terms of helping you to get started.